Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Boots

These were made for a well-to-do man with two or three wives.

—Sylvester Ayek, 2008

These men’s boots are from the Iñupiaq community of King Island in the Bering Sea, but they are richly decorated in Siberian style with strips of alder-dyed skin and geometric patterns stitched with reindeer hair. The white boot legs are made of reindeer fur, a valuable trade good obtained through Siberian trade. Cross-cultural influence and exchange among the indigenous peoples on both sides of Bering Strait has been extensive. These boots originally had ankle straps (now missing) that secured them for dancing.

Culture: Eastern Siberian
Region: King Island, Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Object Type: Boots
Dimensions: Height 61cm
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E048132